From wildlife-filled jungles to some of the world’s most spectacular beaches, sustainable travel is on the rise across the globe. While there’s nothing like swaying in a hammock with a cocktail or two, it’s even better when you know your holiday dollars help to support communities and environmentally-friendly practices, while protecting cultural and natural heritage.
Sink into that hammock at one of these sustainable travel destinations.
Turquoise lagoons, volcanic landscapes and magical underwater worlds await in Palau. This diver’s paradise in the Western Pacific not only captivates holiday-makers with an adventurous spirit, it’s one of this year’s winners in the Green Destinations Sustainable Top 100 Destination Awards.
Innovative approaches include the ‘Palau Pledge’, which you sign upon entering the country as a vow to protect natural and cultural heritage. New regulations will ban the use of reef-toxic sunscreens in 2020 and it’s also home to the world’s first shark sanctuary. Don’t miss out on kayaking around the Rock Islands and stay on Koror for a blend of tourist facilities and island-hopping fun.
When you want to get off-road in a 4WD, float in shimmering, freshwater lakes and camp under the stars, Queensland’s Fraser Island is calling your name. The world’s largest sand island is an irresistible blend of towering rainforests, wild surf beaches and natural wonders, like deep green Lake Wabby and The Cathedrals coloured sand dunes.
Eco-friendly initiatives abound, with Kingfisher Bay Resort leading the way. Designed to integrate with the island, it holds nine Advanced Ecotourism Certifications and has been credited as a Green Travel Leader by Ecotourism Australia. From ranger-led walks to canoeing and bush tucker education, a holiday on Fraser Island means total immersion in nature.
The human footprint is most certainly kept to a minimum on the Galapagos Islands, which is evident in the abundance of wildlife that barely blinks an eye at people in their midst. Around this archipelago of 19 islands, volcanic rocks and islets, expect to see playful sea lions, gigantic tortoises, sun-loving lizards and penguins galore.
Tourism activities in the Galapagos Islands are subject to conserving natural resources, recycling, sourcing local produce and hiring local employees. Different institutions govern sustainable development and ongoing conservation projects help to ensure the pristine state of this incredibly unique destination.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly city trip, pop the capital of Slovenia on your European itinerary. Described as a ‘city with a green soul’, it’s been globally recognised for measures including waste management and sustainable development. In 2012, the inner city centre was closed to traffic and free bicycle sharing is the preferred mode of transport.
Along with exploring lush, green pedestrian ways along the picturesque Ljubljanica River, launch into museum-hopping across cobbled streets, coffee-sipping in quaint cafes and foodie trips to local markets.
Carved into dramatic desert canyons, Petra holds the secrets to the mysterious ancient civilisation of the Nabateans. The sprawling site encompasses the Petra Archaeological Park, with majestic caves, tombs and temples carved into rose-coloured sandstone.
From regional to international collaborations and the formation of the Petra National Natural Protected Area, sustainable travel here has a strong focus on preserving rich culture and otherworldly landscapes.
Whether it’s ancient wonders or sparkling coastlines that beckon this year, sustainable travel destinations offer the best of all worlds.
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